Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Haringey Council is promoting the The Big Community Switch service which aims to help households get a better deal for gas and electricity.

The Big Community Switch scheme is co-ordinated by ichoosr and aims to to make it easy for residents across the country to get cheaper energy by centralising and co-ordinating a collective switching scheme to secure the lowest cost energy tariffs.

The company has been running in Belgium and the Netherlands for some years. I'm assuming they make their money by taking a cut from the energy suppliers.

A council spokesman claimed that savings of £20-200 per year per household are quite realistic.

It works like this: residents sign up with no commitment on iChoosr's  Big Community Switch website by 8th April and on 9th April a reverse auction will allow energy providers to bid using lower and lower tariffs until the cheapest tariff wins. The kind of information you have to fill in will be very familliar to you if you've ever used any of the energy switch websites.

A note of caution: You're asked to give the name of your council and can't proceed until you do. As of this afternoon, the site doesn't recognise Haringey Council. Just type in 'Other" and you can proceed.

You will receive an email after 17 April with an offer, based on your usage and the best deal from the auction. You'll then need to say whether you want to accept the offer by 6 May.

The Council have funded Living Under One Sun to provide one-to-one support and information about collective switching and energy efficiency for residents who need a little extra support to take part.

SIgn up at iChoosr.com.


Tags for Forum Posts: energy, energy prices

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What happens if you are on a fixed-length tariff with you current energy company - I think I'm locked in until November?

No idea, but no harm in signing up, I guess. Or you could message ichoosr via their website if you want to check before signing up.

will be interested to know their reply. Mine until mid 2014! 

If you're locked in with your current provider you either can't switch or you will incur penalties.  Check with your current provider.  This initiative isn't new (see my post below) and to my mind is a waste of our Council tax (I don't often say this by the way - I don't usually bash the Council for the sake of it).

I'm bemused by this.  It's been tried before - with 38 degrees and Which.  They did a similar thing last year and so Cooperative Energy was born.  I switched and was supposed to save hundreds of pounds.  In fact I did save quite a lot, but in the estimation Cooperative Energy 'forgot' to include the Standing Charge!  However, I check a lot on all switching sites and I can say that Cooperative Energy are still the cheapest provider around - so Big Community Switch has a lot to beat.

A further note: I think this was one of the five BOGOF grants awarded by the Council and so this scheme is already subsidized by our money. But I'm not sure whether the model will work - or whether Haringey Council knew about the Which initiative and Cooperative Energy when they awarded the grant.

I'd love to know what other people think. 

My understanding is that this is a national scheme not run or influenced by the Council in any way. As I understand it they're just directing people to it. My understanding is that the OBOF grant is to Living Under One Sun to support less confident people to sign up. 

Do correct me if I'm wrong.

Hugh you are right - but why direct people to a scheme which already has to beat a similar scheme last year.  Cooperative Energy really are cheap so I'm really wondering if running such a scheme less than a year afterwards will result in an even cheaper tariff.  Or whether those that decided to fund a community organisation (with our Council Tax) to promote it have even heard of Cooperative Energy and the Big Switch last year.  My argument is not so much against giving it a go, but why one of the 5 BOGOF grants has been awarded to encouraging people to switch to something that may not be cheaper than Cooperative Energy.

Sounds like a good question.

Hugh, it's been niggling me ever since I heard about this grant so I will ask the question to the council and also will ask my councillors to look into it.  My fear is that vulnerable people will be encouraged to switch to a provider that isn't offering as good a deal as Cooperative Energy. When I switched last year my previous supplier rang me to say they could cut my bills but when I said I was switching to CE they said they couldn't beat that.  One way of checking is of course for me to sign up - so I will!  Thanks for posting this as it's encouraged me to investigate further.

Let us all know what you find out.

I saw some of the Haringey council 40:20 officials talk through a few slides at a meeting last year as part of their drive to reduce carbon footprint. 

They had found one of the first schemes that deregulation enabled (in the Netherlands) and I too mentioned the Which Switch then as I felt it was simply a question of numbers.

Haringey presumably went with iChoosr.com because they're the Dutch firm that claim the most number of switchers (300,00) to date. The Which scheme aimed for 250,000 and was won by CoOperative Energy in May 2012 as Kamila mentioned (above). CE gained 25,000 customers this way and limited the winning tariff to 30,00 people.

Whoever operates switching schemes is simply an auctioneer and takes a cut.

None of them have been cheaper than you can get if you shop around as far as I can tell from doing that - beware.

Hornsey Town Hall was the only place in the world I think were you could get your electricity, gas, telephone and water from one supplier - the council.

They had gas and electricity showrooms opposite one another - the sculptures on the outside walls reflect a civic 'vision':

It was yet another era of new gadgets (e.g. an oven that didn't burn coal) and they saw the chance to teach people (mainly women) how to 'save labour' - a cleaner could earn £4/wk in 1936:

Amazing to see the current right-wing government force supliers to simplify energy tariffs. I thought their claim to fame is 'laissez-faire' capitalism - leaving the market to run 'according to the laws of nature'.  Removing legislation from the backs of business etc.  In fact it not only ends in the poorest getting screwed, it squeezes the middle too, doesn't it?

Don't like the idea of profiteering from stuff everyone should have.

Oh what an informed and interesting reply.  I didn't know that the Coop limited the winning tarif to a number!  And I wonder what's going to happen next year when my tarif is up for review.  I did look at all other providers and the Coop was cheapest for me at the time.  I also didn't know that the auctioners took a cut - surely 38 degrees and Which didn't do this? Perhaps they did, in which case my faith in Which would be completely lost.  Anyway I've written to the Council about this and I'll be keeping an eye on it and reporting.  Let's all watch out for this.

Loved the photos and the ad! Servis Washing Machines - built to last a lifetime! I wish......



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